The sight of a glimmering wood floor speaks to us of glamour, good living, and very hard work on somebody's part. It's true that you have to take care of a wood floor, but you don't have to break your back to do so if you take care of it on a regular basis.
The product used to seal a wood floor determines how it can be cared for. Varnish, shellac, polyurethane, or lacquer are used to finish floors, but only polyurethane requires no further treatment.
The integrity and beauty of wood floors with varnish, shellac, or lacquer finishes can be maintained only by using solvent-base cleaners and polishes. Water should never be used on wood floors, except those treated with polyurethane. They can be damp-mopped.
The fastest way to clean a lacquered, varnished, or shellacked floor is with a one-step cleaner/polish. After vacuuming, pour the liquid on a small area and rub lightly with a wax applicator. Working on a small section at a time, stroke the floor in the direction of the grain. Blot up any excess liquid with a clean cloth.
The best way to clean a wood floor is not the fastest but will result in a long-lasting shine. After vacuuming the floor, apply a liquid wood-floor cleaner with a dry wax applicator on a small area at a time. Let it soak for a few minutes, and wipe up the excess. When the floor is dry, buff with a floor polisher. Caution: This is a combustible mixture; use only in a well-ventilated area.
Whether it's wood or marble or concrete, each surface has its own distinct cleaning needs. And meeting those needs is crucial to having long-lasting floors that shimmer.